Mother Nature was at it again on Saturday! No, it was not a hurricane, tropical depression or anything remotely close. But it was something potentially as dangerous. Fog! A thick blanket of fog surrounding Chicago's O'Hare airport. No flights in, no flights out. We headed to the airport at 5:00 a.m. and boarded our flight before 7:00. Shortly after, the pilot came on to tell us that Chicago was fogged in and we would be waiting for an OK to take off which probably wouldn't happen for an hour or so. The flight attendants set about making coffee and serving juice, water and trail mix. One hour stretched into two, then three. The crew did their best to make everyone comfortable and at about the two hour point, with no end in sight, the pilot started the process of trying to get us back to the terminal and off the plane. This became difficult when he learned that due to the fog in Chicago not only were flights not leaving but Chicago inbound flights were being diverted to Milwaukee. Gates were stacked with 2-3 planes and many more were sitting out on the tarmac. Buses were being sent out to take people back to the terminal. We were just about to be taken off after being on the plane for almost 4 hours when the pilot received the news that the fog was lifting and the plane could leave shortly. Everyone back on the plane! However, at this point we no longer wanted to go. We had already missed our connections and it was unlikely that we would make it any further than Chicago. We are traveling with Bailey, our cat who would have a tough time if we ended up being overnighted somewhere. We would also have to come up with a litterbox for her. We asked if we could just get off the plane and re-book our flight for a different day? The pilot said no problem but wasn't sure if they could get our luggage off. While we waited for other passengers to be shuttled back to the plane, the pilot arranged for our luggage to be pulled off and taken to ticketing. We re-booked our flight for Monday and will be on the same flights we had booked originally, traveling from Milwaukee to Chicago to San Juan and finally to Grenada.
I have to mention that contrary to what you usually hear about in these situations, the airline seemed to be doing everything possible to make the passengers comfortable. I guess it isn't newsworthy unless something goes wrong. We were flying American Airlines and the entire crew and the ticketing personnel could not have been nicer and more sincere in their attempts to make us comfortable and to meet our needs. They did their best in a difficult situation. So, if Mother Nature is willing, we'll try it again tomorrow. Sailors don't like it when the wind is coming from the direction they want to go. We have a saying that nothing goes to windward like a 747! Well, apparently not in the fog!